Item description for Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzberg...
Here is a kaleidoscope of tales, a key to many of the richest literary and artistic traditions of the western world: Adam's ascent into Heaven in a chariot, Abraham's trail by fire, Jonah's fabulous adventrure in the whale, the life of Moses, Hannah's desire for a son, Solomon as a beggar, the wooing of Rebekah, and Balshazzar's feast. This is storytelling with a grain of salt and a lot of wit; tales springing from the antiquity of oral tradition, told with sheer delight in the glory of a book transformed by a hundred generations whose daily thoughts and deeds were transformed by The Book.
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Studio: Jewish Publications Society
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.94" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.64" Weight: 2.24 lbs.
Release Date May 15, 1992
Publisher Jewish Publications Society
ISBN 0827604041 ISBN13 9780827604049
Availability 0 units.
More About Louis Ginzberg
Louis Ginzberg was born in Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania, in 1873. He began his university studies in mathematics but eventually turned to the study of religion. His doctoral dissertation, which documented the survival of various Jewish elaborations of the Bible in the writings of the Church Fathers, prefigured his later work. He immigrated to America in 1899 and became a renowned Judaic scholar. He died in New York City in 1953.
Reviews - What do customers think about Legends of the Bible?
Flights of Fancy and the Truth of Myth Jul 30, 2005
The subtitle explains the contents: "Variations of the stories in scriptures as told and retold in the ancient east from the days of Abraham, in synagogues and churches and the homes of a hundred generations of men." This is only a representative selection from a 7-volume series.
These stories give valuable insights into the eastern concept of the story, and the character of the stories in Genesis. These legendary stories reveal a context of worldview and oral culture that shed light on the styles and forms of thought behind the Old Testament accounts that often puzzle and confuse modern, western readers.
Forms of many of the stories illustrate a characteristic of oral cultures, a dynamic and immediate concept of history. Events and their meanings are the unifying focus for use of details, not an objective historical sequence preferred by recent analytical western concepts of linear history.
People from different eras of history in the western linear understanding of events, all participate in the same events. Some of the characters found in stories about the Egyptian captivity are biblical characters from time of the conquest of Canaan, David's era, and even the rebuilding of the Temple after the Babylonian captivity and the Roman period in Israel! Stories about the Creation involve angels and various historical personalities conferring with God about options and alternatives.
One of those personalities is the personified Torah, another is the Sabbath. Stories of the Patriarchs are retold in multiple forms for various reasons, and from varied geographic and historical contexts.
The details of the stories vary in each form according to the purpose of the storyteller -- sometimes simply to make one moral point or set up a proverb, or explain the origin of a name -- much like many of the Genesis stories. There are many versions of some stories from Genesis and some additional which often contradict each other in details if evaluated on the basis of modern western analytical concepts of scientific history and truth as objective fact.
The stories illustrate more fully the concept of testimonial truth. Details are not reported for their own sake, but to enhance the testimony being given, the covenant value to the Hebrew. Similarly this oral literature, captured in writing, clarifies the guiding principles in an oral and covenantal society as the dynamic concepts of event as truth and event as relationship.
Many of the stories further reflect and illustrate the mystical concepts and concerns of eastern cultures, richly expressed in the Kaballah of European Jews. Many of the stories have fanciful, unrealistic -- even outlandish -- portrayals or claims.
I found the book incredible. Most informative Dec 7, 1997
I have often wondered about the completeness of the stories told in the bible. After performing considerable research and concluding that stories as set forth in the bible were not in fact complete, I stumbled across this book. I was captivated by the use of names and situations so easily correlated to those situations without names found in the bible. So many questions going unanswered for many years now suddenly came to closure as a result of reading this book. It forced me to find the seven volume set of "Legends of the Jews" which was accomplished without the knowledge of "this site.com"...but I certainly thank God for your existence today. This book is a 10 and I use it in my religion studies at my college prep high school. The students rate it as illuminating.